“Eat Your Friends” Compilation Reviewed at DOA

“Over almost a decade, Hidden Shoal records developed a reputation as a consistently innovative and experimental music label, giving to us music of remarkable qualities whether it was the instrumental excursions of Gilded, the blissed-out indie of My Majestic Star, the electronica of Marcus Mehr, the alt.folk stylings of Kramies – the HSR list of significant talents was a lengthy one. I say was, as in 2014 or thereabouts, the Hidden Shoal label underwent a reorganisation of sorts, and it began to seem that one of the more influential Australian record labels of the recent past was itself going into hiding. Perhaps so, although only to return refreshed, renewed, invigorated and with its varying artistic visions intact – the Eat Your Friends compilation proves that the Hidden Shoal label is properly with us again. One thing I’ve found when reviewing compilations is that not infrequently, when I put them into my music players, the tracks separate instead of remaining in their album folder, and that has happened with my copy of Eat Your Friends, encouraging me to view each of the tracks as a single release rather than view the album itself as a cohesive whole. Then there’s the fact that only some of its contributors are already known to me and so, ditching some of my preconceptions about what it’s going to sound like, I began listening to the 11 tracks in a random sequence, and prepared for the unexpected. Firstly, there’s singer/songwriter Erik Nilsson’s “Moksha Can Wait”, a song which electronic composer Marcus Mehr has taken and adapted to his subtly developed production sound, a track that begins almost inaudibly and builds to a staggering crescendo of soaring, roaring...

“Long Range Transmissions” Reviewed at Tome To The Weather Machine

“I am an unabashed Hidden Shoal fan. The Australian label has been pumping out releases of lush, cinematic aspirations of ambient and neo-classical artists for a better part of it’s existence that, at times, is overcome by its eclectic output ranging from conspiracy-punks to 90’s slowcore revivalists to every deriviation of weirdos (Australian and otherwise) in between. Long Distance Transmissions, however, is a surprisingly cohesive collection of sprawling ambient, electro-acoustic, post-classical and just about ever derivation (Australian and otherwise) of lushly produced, slightly melancholic, wordless music in between. Highlights include Markus Mehr’s Tim Hecker-meets-Heinz Riegler meditative distorted synth composition “Hubble, the chopped and glitched electro-acoustic number by Kryshe, the minor key minimalist techno of Cheekbone and the emotional heft of the 80’s nostalgia of Slow Dancing Society’s bubbling arpeggios and soundtrack-worthy dynamics. It makes sense that Hidden Shoal also exists as a licensing company, many of these compositions, if not already, seem to soundtrack some deeply resonant scenes in films (never made).” – Tome To The Weather Machine Related Items:REWTodd Tobias and Chloe March 'Ma Leila Lulla' Reviewed at Tome To The Weather MachineNew REWMarkus Mehr - Mount DevilMarkus Mehr -...

“Long Range Transmissions” Hidden Shoal Compilation Album

“Happened across this as we were turning it in for the night, a new name your price downloadable compilation by Australia’s finest purveyors of elegantly drawn dream pop Hidden Shoals. Entitled ‘long range transmissions’ it features a gathering of talents, some familiar – Antonymes, Markus Mehr, Slow Dancing Society et al along with some not so such as gilded and cheekbone. However what attracted us apart from the obvious as ever high quality seductive ambience tonalities literally peeling from the grooves was a delightful little thing from Elisa Luu entitled ‘chromatic sigh’. A breathlessly beautiful slice of porcelain noir classicism, an all too brief heavenly visitation, the slow shift into focus of the sound of a celestial calling emerging into the open to bathe all in the tingling shower of warming radiance, an out of body astral gliding odyssey which for a moment utterly transfixes its delicately balanced and perfectly poised gaze to fix and fill you with ethereal enchantment. And so to something familiar, regular visitors to these pages will be all too aware of our affection for Chloe March who here with ‘old tree, mon coeur’ doesn’t disappoint in the slightest and into the bargain offers up this sweetly mesmerising rustic ghost light, a fairy dust sprayed dream draped lost in the moment beguiling bouquet that shyly treads in the kind of amorphous star twinkled worlds of Musetta albeit as though aided and abetted by a soiree of siren sighs from a chill tripped Laetita and Mary from Stereolab.” – The Sunday Experience Related Items:Slow Dancing Society "Fantosmes" Out Now (Vinyl, Tape, CD & Digital)Slow Dancing Society...

“Lost In Transmissions” Compilation Reviewed at Wake The Deaf

“You might recognise Hidden Shoal from our piece on Olive Skinned, Silver Tongued Sirens Sing Swan Songs, the latest album from REW<<. The label has recently released Long Range Transmissions, the first in a series of themed compilations which showcase the ambient/neo-classical acts in their catalogue. It’s the perfect place to introduce yourself to a diverse and interesting collective of musicians. While the collection comes from a particular genre, there is still room for much variation across the thirteen tracks. Antonymes and Kryshe favour fragile, graceful piano, Cheekbone push a sci-fi inspired electronica and Chloe March creates a lush chamber pop. Todd Tobias evokes a mixture of shimmering bliss and nostalgia, his track ‘Nan Madol’ playing like a super-cinematic missing number from the Twin Peaks soundtrack, while Stockholm’s Erik Nilsson’s gently tropical ‘Drawing/Dreaming’ feels like watching the sun set into the sea on the last night of your holiday. Other highlights include the goosebump-inducing melodrama of Slow Dancing Society’s ‘Pull’, Elisa Luu’s ethereal ‘Chromatic Sigh’ and the aching melancholy of closing track ‘Empty Cradles’ by Sleeping Me.” – Wake The Deaf Related Items:REWNew REWNew REWREWNew...

Gilded "Terrane" Reviewed at The Sound Projector

“Necks fans newly bereaved of their titanic attention spans will gleefully gravitate to this duo’s carefully crafted set of glazed and glacial miniatures, emigrants of Australian shores farthest from Sydney’s celebrated slow jazz trio. Nourished on a diet of Kranky, Rachels and their ilk, and mastered by arch-abstractionist Taylor Deupree, Gilded’s Terrane slowly sublimates sombre scenery into a subtle, hypnotic ambience (in the Brian Eno sense) devoid of excess emotion: its virtue lies in the vagueness of background music one doesn’t just filter out, but which adds warmth to any given scene. Everywhere to be found is patient, rhythmic gradation: the accretion of new textural layers so subtle as to be almost imperceptible; so resonant as to be hypnotic; nature’s own lullabies celebrating botanical infancy. A sense of stillness-in-motion is evident throughout: in ‘Velar’ and ‘Cluttered Room’, skittering cymbal phrases assume a respiratory regularity, grounded by dazed and distant reverb, and gently tinkling waterfalls. A relative of Harold Budd’s plangent piano playing pops up here and periodically there: soft, sombre droplets prickling the still white surface of serenity, summoning up seasonal slowdown. Sun-drenched, freshly clipped lawns or the same spot bedded down with 6am snow. Drama takes place behind doors closed underwater: in ‘Road Movie’ we encounter Raime’s painfully paced ‘Soil & Colts’ reborn as a carefree, countryside stroll – the former’s signature screech supplanted by a blasé banjo strum. The landscape remains but urgency increases as a cantering piano enters in ‘Tyne’, which subsides into a vinyl crackle as the bucolic drift resumes. Tightly bowed, clipped strings sing of serrated leaves of grass blown by gliding strings, finally...

Gilded "Terrane" Reviewed at FREQ

“The internet is a wonderful thing. I had no idea that western Australia had a rich experimental music scene. With my northern European prejudice I probably assumed that all too brief and rather damp summers were a necessary precondition for musical innovation. But thanks to the web, my prejudices can be confounded. Gilded are Matt Rösner and Adam Trainer, both notable composers and performers in the aforementioned scene around Perth, who collaborate together on this album for the first time. Terrane was mostly recorded in the beach community at Myalup, although some of the piano which features strongly throughout the record was recorded in Perth in a room specifically conditioned to provide the optimum environment for the instrument. patient progressions evoke images of wild and remote places When thinking of great experimental music (if you were a child of the Seventies and Eighties at least) I immediately think of Mixmaster Morris or Aphex Twin’s electronica or Philip Glass and Steve Reichat the more orchestral end of the spectrum. Gilded’s music pitches somewhere in the middle, and manages to create soundscapes that, while they are certainly minimal in approach, are nonetheless powerfully evocative. I use the term soundscapes specifically here, as the album title (a geological term apparently*) is highly appropriate because what their music communicates is determinedly about places and environments. The restrained use of repetitions, layered with gradual, patient progressions evoke images of wild and remote places. The rich texture of their music is partly a function of the care taken in their arrangements, as well as the performance and recording. What adds so much to these compositions...